Looking Ahead

The World Series is over, and I think a lot of Red Sox fans are happy about this. Wasn’t it hard to watch that Fall Classic knowing that your team was so painfully close to being in there, and very well could have won it all?

Anyway, congratulations to the Phillies and to the Rays. They both had great seasons and should be extremely proud of what they accomplished.

I am still just blown away by the season that Brad Lidge had. There wasn’t one time all year he didn’t do his job. He converted every save opportunity from the beginning of April until the end of October. That is mighty impressive.

On to Red Sox matters. The end of the World Series means that we can start looking ahead to the winter, and what will soon be a simmering stove of player movement.

I’m not sure the Red Sox need to spend over $200 million on Mark Teixeira as great a hitter as he is. The Red Sox have a highly productive bat in Kevin Youkilis at first, and Mike Lowell — coming off hip surgery — at third. Let’s face it, because Lowell is rehabbing, you’re not going to be able to trade him. This is an uncommon injury so I don’t think many teams would take the risk. And if Lowell can get himself healthy, the Red Sox have a very productive bat in the middle of that lineup.

Pitching is always a place you can upgrade and there’s a lot to like in this year’s market. I’d start by making a furious run at Jake Peavy. This guy is a stopper, and pitching in an environment like Boston could get him to take his game to another level. The Red Sox have the chips to legitimately be in the race for a player like this, much like they were for Santana last year. And Theo Epstein and Padres GM Kevin Towers obviously have a great relationship.

I’m not big on Sabathia. He’s going to be overly expensive, so if I’m the Red Sox, I let the Yankees overspend on him.

Derek Lowe is an interesting one. We all know what he can do. We all know how much he thrives in Boston, especially in October. But what will the market be for the sinkerballer? Obviously he wants to come back  but it’s unclear how much the Red Sox would spend for a player in his mid 30s, albeit one who has been exceedingly durable throughout his career.

A.J. Burnett? I’d be a little leery there. He’s a tease. Sure, he finally had a great year and it was in a contract year. Not sure he could keep that up over the course of a long-term deal.

Catcher is the most intriguing part of this winter. It is hard to fathom that the Red Sox could be without Jason Varitek when pitchers and catchers report in February. As Kevin Youkilis said after Game 7,
“If I walk into Spring Training and don’t see Jason Varitek, it will be a day that will be very eye-opening and very sad.”

I’m with Youk on this one. I know Varitek was beyond terrible offensively this season. Could it be, however, that it was nothing more than a player putting too much pressure on himself in a contract year, not to mention the fact that he was going through a divorce? The guy is human. Both these things could have played an impact. If I’m the Red Sox, I try real hard to get Varitek signed for two years and hope that it’s enough. There’s just not a lot of catching out there.

I think the Boston offense doesn’t need a big shakeup. If you get Lowell healthy and David Ortiz close to back to what he was, those are two big additions to your lineup right there. Jacoby Ellsbury will probably get better and so, too, could Jed Lowrie.

What would all of you like to happen this offseason?


Oh boy, I could be first if no one posts while I’m typing. Yahooo! Hmmm, the view from the top is great! No wonder Brian is always here first.

I doubt that Lowe comes back, although I would welcome him. He always pitched well in Boston. He seemed to be very unhappy at the end of ’04 though.

If I ran the zoo, I’d keep Tek and bat him in the 8th or 9th hole and tell him to relax, don’t worry about hitting. Just catch the ball and call the pitches.

Sabathia is too fat. The days of Sonny Jurgenson are long gone.

Theo needs to upgrade the bullpen a little. Maybe Taylor Buchholz from the Rockies. And what about robbing out the ray’s BP? All those guys can’t be signed forever.

Forget Texiera, keep Youk at first and go with Lowell unless he doesn’t recover. Then we can look to pick up Ryan Howard. He seems like a nice guy. Articulate and very pleasant to talk to. Maybe Lugo could play first for the Phils. If John Henry gave the Phillies one of his race-cars they might go for it.

If the Phil’s go along with the deal that sends Lugo over with one of his race cars, he may have to throw in an extra set of Lugnuts as part of the package deal.

Good one, Pangelotti. I’ll miss Lugo. Who will take his place as whipping boy for the blog? Tavarez is gone, ZAZU is gone and will be forgotten next year. Who do we have? Who will step up?

Depending on how the season works out- potential replacements would be Coco and Lopez- unless they step up. If not, get out the whips.

I disagree with Ian about Mark Teixeira. I firmly believe the Sox should and will sign him. Mike Lowell’s hip labrum was in better condition than anticipated, and the free agent market at third base is very lean. Several teams need a third baseman. Lowell is expected to be back by mid-March. I read where Ken Rosenthal thinks the Sox might even sign Tex before finding a taker for Lowell. The Sox can afford to eat a part of Lowell’s remaining salary for the final two years. Don’t be surprised if this happens. The Sox lineup needs another big bat. Even if Lowell and Ortiz return healthy, I am not confident about the lineup. And I would rather not see Bay traded to make room for Holliday because Holliday’s defense is suspect. Tex makes sense. He’s a young veteran, a switch-hitter who hits for average and power, and is a solid defensive first baseman. Youkilis is just entering his prime and is solid at third base. Bay is in his early 30s hits for a respectable average, produces runs and plays strong defense. I like Lowell, but Boston will be a better team if they deal him and add Teixeira. I would also like to see them sign Willie Bloomquist and let Cora go elsewhere. Bloomquist can play the infield and the outfield, and also has speed. He’s the type of guy that would fit in nicely with the Red Sox.


Brian, I would like to see Lowe back in Boston. He is durable, and with the Sox defense, he would win a lot of games. Taylor Buchholz would be a nice addition. I would like to see Boston sign Juan Cruz, a free agent who pitched for the Diamondbacks. I’m not to keen on the Rays relievers. Balfour and Howell were awful until this magical season. I really don’t think they will have long-term success. Dan Wheeler was inconsistent as well. I think Tampa Bay’s bullpen will be in trouble next season unless the Rays make some additions. I agree with Ian about Sabathia. Not worth the years and the exhorbitant salary. Of course, I don’t find anything wrong with the way he looks, but, hey, I am similar in build to David Wells, so I don’t mind if the Red Sox add a tall and beefy pitcher!


One more thing….just say no to Jake Peavy! He will cost the Sox way too much in terms of prospects. Where would the Sox have been this season without guys like Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson? Talented depth is a key reason why the Sox were able to withstand so many injuries and reach the playoffs. Acquiring Peavy would sap that depth. It would cost Bowden or Buchholz, and maybe both, plys a third top prospect like Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish. Peavy is not worth it. I advocate trading a top prospect to get Laird or Teagarden from Texas (I’m not fond of Saltalamacchia because of his defensive concerns) because the Sox desperately need a young catcher, even if Varitek is brought back. But the Sox don’t need Peavy. They can sign Lowe or Burnett.

Everyone loved the ZAZU doll and so here, by request, IS THE LUGO DOLL.

Hey kids. It?s the new Lugo doll. Just wind him up and?well?ah?OK so he just stands there glazed over just like he does during a ground ball play…but who cares! Own your own Lugo doll today. Just press the button and you?ll get sayings like:
?Wow, I?m injured ?hey why is everyone smiling?
?Error number 120. That?s a record?
?One more error. I can do it!?
?What?s an incompetent?
These and more inspiring quotes come with the LUGO doll. In addition, with an optional bat, you can toss the ball at Lugo and watch Lugo take some swings and every time he does, he talks.
?Strike three. That was quick?
?Wow, I got that one past the catcher.?
?That isn?t a bunt. That was me swinging as hard as I can.?
“Wow how’d I hit my head with the bat”
In addition, with the optional remote you can program in your team for the special good night song that Lugo will sing to you when you go to bed.
(It?s the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb.)
Lugo had a little error,
bigger Error,
Really big Error,
Lugo had a really big error
And the [fill in your team here] cheered me on!
So why not get the Lugo doll while supplies last. The first 150 people who get the Lugo doll will get a sympathy card from a trained psychiatric professional so don?t miss out today!


Not sure what you are talking about when you say Lowe seemed unhappy at the end of ’04. Lowe was never unhappy in Boston. He absolutely loved it there. The only thing he was unhappy about was that Francona took him out of the rotation before the playoffs started but that resolved itself. He’s always said that he misses Boston and never wanted to leave in the first place.

My mistake. The announcers doing the games(playoffs ’04) made a big deal out of it as if he was really steamed. Well, then bring him back! He always did well in Boston.

I see the problem in the middle of the order being the unreliability of David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. In both cases, their durability is highly suspect going into next year. Drew has proven he can play when he is healthy, but Ortiz’s production has been on the decline since he hit all those home runs a couple of years ago. The Sox are stuck with a bunch of high priced players that nobody is likely to have any interest in. Drew, Lugo, Ortiz and Lowell all fall into that category. The most likely of those to produce next year is Lowell, just because of the kind of player/person he is. You know he’s going to put 110 percent into rehab and the only way he won’t be ready to go is if he can’t play in which case I think he retires rather than be something substandard.

If the Sox go after Teixeira, they then have a surplus of middle of the order players. I don’t think they need him unless they can deal Ortiz, Drew, or both. Jason Bay was a very productive hitter for a very bad team. There’s no reason to believe he won’t hit 30-35 HRs and drive in over 100 next year playing the whole season in Boston. If the Sox could unload Ortiz, Teixeira gives them depth and flexibility in the infield and enables them to give Lowell some time off as he and Tex could alternate as the DH and you could give Youk an occasional off day as DH as well. So you wind up with a lineup that looks like this ……. Ellsbury – Pedroia – Tex – Youk – Bay – Drew – Lowell – Lowrie – Catcher …………….. I don’t know about you, but that looks pretty awesome to me. The Ortiz contract isn’t outrageous and he might be pretty attractive to a team like Tampa.

I think the Sox have to think in terms of giving Buchholz another shot. There’s no question he has the stuff to be a solid major league pitcher. He’ll be a year older and I really think he’ll face much less pressure. Expectations won’t be as high. He’s got everything Cole Hamels has except he throws harder and has a better breaking pitch. He could be awesome.

I agree with everyone’s take on Sabathia and Burnett. I think both will be too much for not enough. Burnett has a history of issues and has been a .500 pitcher until this year. Sabathia is too fat (as is Ortiz).

Hot Stove Time….Yipeee….bridges us to pitchers and cathers reporting….like Okie Dokie to Paps in the 9th. I am only worried about 1 thing right now. Lowell’s rehab at his age. Will this be a nagging injury he has a hard time overcoming? I love Mike Lowell and what he has meant to this team and his desire and guttyness. ( Is that a word?) I am just concerned with the whole Mike Lowell thing. I never thought the Texiera thing worked out in Boston….until now. The only problem with that is….the Yankees. Who needs a first baseman worse than they do? It almost smells like the same thing that happened when the Yankees and Red Sox both wanted A-Rod. Without ZAZU’s contract and Schilling’s contract the Sox can be selective and aggressive where they need to be. Would be a bad thing come April and Lowell either is not ready or not 100%. It’s too late to try to fill a hole then. Tough one for Theo but….In Theo I trust!!!!!!
Dave….How about an Albert Belle doll?

I am not a fan of trading for Jake Peavey. He doesn’t go very deep in the game. Also….he has gotten smoked in the playoffs. Peavey should stay in the N.L. and pitch his 6 or 7 innings in the N.L. To obtain Peavey….you have too give up too much and he isn’t worth it.

I am big fan of Texeria and who isn’t? A switch-hitter in the middle of the lineup with power! I read where Boras wants a contract of 5 years with Texeria. Boras belives ( I agree ) at the end of the 5th year, he’ll still be a very productive hitter and can cash in 1 more time.

I am also a big fan of signing Derek Lowe. Of course his off the field antics could be the reason the Red Sox stay away. Lowe is a very durable pitcher and has pitched in Boston. Lowe knows what it is all about in the pressure cooker of Boston. I’m guessing Lowe ends up with the Mets or Yankees. While I am talking about pitchers, say no to the following…Sabathia ( he’ll be pitching right handed in 3 years ) Burnett has #1 stuff but has the mentality of a #4 guy….Also say no way to Ben Sheets!

The Sox should go all out to acquire Tex. It costs nothing but $$$ which the organization can comfortably afford. Tex is power switch hitter that gives flexibility to the infield and can play DH if necessary. It remains to be seen whether Ortiz in 2008 is an aberration due to wrist injury or the start of the inevitable decline. It was a joke that there was no viable right-handed batter off the bench in ALCS roster.
Jake Peavy may be too pricy. I?d definitely like to see Lowe reunited with the Sox or acquire AJ Burnett, both as your No. 4 starter. The awesome rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Lowe/Burnett, and hopefully Buchholz (or Bowden) would prove to be indomitable in the league.
I?ll say no to Bay for Holliday deal. Any hitter out of the Coors Field is a usual suspect to me.
The Sox have to do whatever they can to reinforce the lineup. When it comes the playoffs time, the hitters have to hit their way and the pitchers have to pitch their way to win the games. In the postseason, we cannot expect our greatest manager the Sox ever had to manage and manufacture runs like Charlie Manuel did in Game 5.

Derek Lowe had a great year in 2002 with Boston and was 16-8 in 2006 in LA. Otherwise he has been a sub .500 pitcher. His ERA was under 4.00, but in a much weaker NL, and NL West in particular. You’d see the same or better numbers from a Tim Wakefield or Paul Byrd for less $$$$. I don’t think the Sox should bring him back. The Sox pitching is deep and I don’t think they need to make a huge investment there. If they can find a bargain, great. If not, they should continue on the course of developing the youth to supplement the front three they have.

Whether we want Texiera or not we should remain in the bidding to drive his price up. If the Yanks want him, let them pay the going price.

Garry, in seven seasons as a full-time starting pitcher, Lowe has only had two sub-.500 years (12-15 in 2005 and 12-14 in 2007). In both of those seasons, he had a respectable ERA and played for so-so Dodgers teams. Quality starts and ERA, and not win-loss record, is the best measuring stick for the effectiveness of a starter. You can’t win a lot of games if you’re on mediocre teams, which the Dodgers have been, even this season. I agree with you that the Sox have deep pitching, but I really think they need a No. 4 guy who they can count on in the playoffs. Wakefield is not that guy, though he is good for 10-15 wins, lots of quality starts and 180-plus innings during the regular season. I think it would be a mistake to rely too heavily upon Bowden or Buchholz. Masterson could be the answer, but he seems to have more value in the bullpen since the Sox do not have another reliable right-handed set-up man.

With Boston’s infield defense, Lowe will get a lot of ground ball outs – even more than when he was here before since this defense is much better. Byrd is a palatable No. 5 starter, so is Wakefield, but on this team Lowe would be a solid No. 4.


Jeff, I suppose of the price is right, Lowe wouldn’t be a bad selection as a #4 guy. The question is whether or not he will be looking for #4 money. There are many teams much more desperate for pitching than the Sox who will likely offer him a pretty good pay day. However, I wouldn’t invest a lot in Lowe when you can get essentially the same thing from Wakefield for $4M.

The #1 priorty for the Sox right now, and for the future is catching. They have to make a decision on Tek and they ought to be working hard right now while they have exclusive rights to him to find out what it would take to get another quality catcher in here.

Good point. Lowe will be a solid no 4 starter. But at what price? Lowe will likely demand no worse than 4 yr deal for $36M??
I plea with the Sox, please do not let Wakefield pitch in the playoffs in 2009 even his ERA in the regular season is 0.00001.

Imagine having two decent pitchers, one left handed and the other righthanded, where both can also play the outfield and are decent hitters and/or bunters. You can have them pitch to batters swinging from the same side of the plate. You can rotate them accordingly. The only problem would be with switch-hitters. I understand that there is a pitcher that can throw either left or righthanded, All he needs is a different glove. Talk about playing the percentages.

Also, when you are in the two pitcher situation, you can have a cart ready to drive them back and forth to speed up the game.

Excerpt: Red Sox favorite to win in 2009:

“The Phillies haven?t even been World Series champions for 24 hours yet, but that hasn?t stopped the oddsmakers from BetOnline.com releasing the odds for all 30 teams to capture the 2009 World Series.”

“The Phillies were 18/1 this time last year, ranked 10th out of the 30 teams. The Rays were 100/1 or 150/1 entering last season to win it all, depending on which sports book you looked at. They?re 10/1 going into next year. Only the Pirates (200/1) and Nationals (300/1) have worse odds than the Rays did last year. Here?s the entire list:
Boston Red Sox 3/1
Chicago Cubs 5/1
LA Angels 5/1
Philadelphia Phillies 6/1
New York Yankees 6/1
Tampa Bay Rays 10/1
Chicago White Sox 10/1
New York Mets 12/1
Milwaukee Brewers 15/1
Minnesota Twins 15/1
LA Dodgers 15/1
Toronto Blue Jays 20/1
Detroit Tigers 25/1
Florida Marlins 30/1
Houston Astros 30/1
St. Louis Cardinals 30/1
Cleveland Indians 30/1
Atlanta Braves 30/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 40/1
Colorado Rockies 40/1
Texas Rangers 50/1
Cincinnati Reds 50/1
Oakland Athletics 50/1
San Francisco Giants 80/1
KC Royals 100/1
Baltimore Orioles 100/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 200/1
Washington Nationals 300/1” – Mark Feinsand-Daily News

Pangelotti: Read the following true story by Associated Press:

NEW YORK — Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte can confound hitters — and umpires — when he’s on the mound.

The umps working a game Thursday night between the Class-A Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones had nothing to go by when Venditte made his professional debut, less than two weeks after getting drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees.

He pitched the ninth, and after retiring two batters and allowing a single, a switch-hitter stepped to the plate for Brooklyn. That’s hardly unusual. But it becomes intriguing against Venditte, a switch pitcher.

Things got a tad dizzying when designated hitter Ralph Henriquez, who had taken his on-deck circle swings as a lefty, entered the batter’s box from the right side.

Venditte put his specially made glove (it has six fingers, two webs and fits on both hands) on his left hand, and got ready to pitch right-handed.

Henriquez then changed his mind and switched sides of the plate, because a batter sees the ball sooner when it is thrown by a pitcher using the opposite hand.

So Venditte shifted his glove to the other hand.

Then it happened again.

And again.

And again.

Apparently unsure of how the rules handle such an oddity, the umpires didn’t stop the cat-and-mouse game until Venditte walked toward the plate and said something while pointing at Henriquez.

Umpires and both managers huddled and the umps decided the batter and pitcher can both change sides one time per at-bat, and that the batter must declare first.

The ruling favored the pitcher, since he gets to declare last.

About seven minutes after he first stepped in, Henriquez struck out on four pitches as a righty against a right-handed Venditte and slammed his bat in frustration. Staten Island won, 7-2.

“It’s probably been a long, long time since he’s seen a right-hander as a righty,” Venditte said. “I think in that situation, I had the upper hand because he wasn’t used to that. It’s been a long time since he’d come in the game as a switch-hitter and faced a righty as a righty.”

It wasn’t completely new to Venditte, who went 9-3 with a 3.34 ERA and had seven saves as a senior at Creighton.

“That same thing happened my sophomore year against Nebraska,” he said. “But in that situation he got to hit off me right-handed, and I faced him lefty. He hit a line drive to center but it got caught, so I lucked out.”

It’s unclear what the MLB rule book says on the matter. While it’s clear that both a batter and a pitcher are allowed to change sides once, the umpire’s decision that the batter must declare first remains debatable.

“We’re waiting on an official ruling on it,” Staten Island media relations director John Davison said.

Pat Venditte Sr., who raised his son as ambidextrous from the age of 3, said the Missouri Valley Conference had rules in place for such a situation. There, the pitcher had to show which arm he was going to pitch with.

“My first thought was, isn’t there a rule to cover that?” asked Venditte Sr., by phone from Nebraska.

Justin Klemm, executive director of the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation, said his organization was working with Major League Baseball to remedy the lack of a clear rule.

“We don’t want to rush to any interpretation beyond what is in our manual,” Klemm said, referring to the minor league umpire manual. “Obviously what’s in our manual doesn’t cover every situation. We want to be as fair as possible, but we’re going to do that in a timely manner.”

It’s all happening because Venditte Sr. decided to experiment with his son at age 3, having him first kick footballs with both feet, then punting with both, and finally throwing with both hands. He and his 3-year-old son played long toss — pitcher’s mound to plate — with each arm.

Because his son was home-schooled, Pat Jr. wasn’t dissuaded from doing something that might have been seen as “unnatural,” his father said. By the time he started playing organized baseball, his son was already better with both hands than most kids were with either.

“By the time he played at 7, people were in awe,” Venditte Sr. said. “It spurred us on. He was doing things that people found unique and different.”

Some scouts have noticed that Venditte throws harder from the right side — near 90 mph as opposed to about 80 from the left side — and have decided that means he’s naturally a righty.

Not so fast, his father said.

“The reason he’s not as fast from the left is he drops his arm from the left side to get more movement, he throws a sweeping slider,” he said. “The coach at Creighton thought it was more difficult to hit. He has equal arm strength. He can stand at home plate and throw it out of the ballpark from both sides.”

The Yankees have enough faith that Venditte can bring his ambidextrous pitching game to the majors to draft him not once, but twice. They drafted him in the 45th round after his junior year as well, but Venditte chose to return to Creighton.

Venditte is not the first professional pitcher to throw with both hands, although he may be the first in the modern era with the potential to regularly switch arms.

Greg A. Harris, who pitched for Cincinnati, Montreal, San Diego, Texas, Philadelphia, Boston and the Yankees from 1981 to 1995, was a righty throughout his career. He pitched from the left side for two batters in the second-to-last game of his career.

That “switch pitcher” is the Yankee’s Pat Venditte who played his first professional season for the Staten Island Yankees in the low a short season NY-Penn league (includes the Lowell Spinners.) It will be at least three or four years before he has a shot at MLB.

I see 007 beat me to the punch while I was typing!

From what I read, there is little chance Peavy will pitch for any AL team unless he’s overwhealmed with $$$$$$$$$.

I agree with Jeff that any tradable Sox prospects would be best utilized to pick up a young catcher.

The Red Sox had a switch pitcher whose name was Greg Harris. He never switch pitched for the Sox, but he did switch pitch one time while playing for Montreal. Greg Harris had one glove that could be worn on either hand. I’m thinking it was a reversible six-fingered glove.

In the minor leagues, I played with a pitcher in Newark, NY whose name was Larry May. He was listed as a RHP but he could throw equally well with both arms. It was a pretty amazing thing to watch.

Venditte also has one glove wearable on either hand. I thought the result in that Cyclone’s (Mets) game was that the batter had the last change but I may be wrong.
Was that the Newark Bears you played for? and what year?

Lugo feels that has the solution against the switch-pitcher. He will have a two-colored bat (e.g., black and white)with the colors divided vertically. When he faces a right-handed pitcher he will hold the bat so that the black side meets the ball; when he faces a left-handed pitcher he will rotate the bat so that the white side meets the ball. This, of course, assumes that he will be able to hit the ball in the first place.

I thought the Red Sox had an outstanding year and that in the face of many injuries. I wouldn’t make major changes to the team, but here is what I recommend. I will not name candidates to pick up as free agents or in a trade, I’ll leave that to the experts.
1. Resign Varitek, but recognize that he can no longer be expected to catch 120 games a year. Get a new young catcher.
2. Keep Bay, Ellsbury and Drew. I also like Crisp and Kotsay, so don’t think we are in dire need in the outfield.
3. Our infield is solid, with a question about signing Lowell only if it is for an extended contract. If we could sign Teixeira, then who would not like to have him. He is one of the best overall players I have seen. I would let Lugo go under any circumstances.
4. As far as starting pitching is concerned, We have three excellent starters and we have both Masterson and Bucholz who should be quality starters. I personally wouldn’t have taken the option on Wakefield due to his age. We wouldn’t have to keep a catchder just for him as well. If we could get one more quality pitcher in free agency, then why not? I understand there is another prospect who is possibly ready for the majors.
5. As far as relief pitching is concerned, We need some help there.. Timlin’s effectiveness has declined. I also see Lopez as not being able to do his job. Perhaps it is so difficult to find left handed relief help that we need to stay with him, but he hasn’t shown much in the majority of games I watched.
6. Big Papi may have just had a down year due to the injuries. When he is healty he can be a force. I recommend keeping him. With the addition of Teixeira, we could use Lowelll in the designated hitter role if Big Papi gets injured again.

Basically, we still have avery good club and shouldn’t mess with the roster in a major way.

I see where Schill has declared for free agency. Any logic to the Sox offering him a contract made up of several components: 1. A signing bonus of say 1/2 Mil. or so, to get him under contract. If he never pitches an inning (like this year), its his to keep; 2. Additional, “per innings pitched” compensation of perhaps $10,000 or so during the season, with an increase (to $15-20,000 perhaps) during the post-season. If he were to regain the ability to pitch for the 2nd half of the season, his pitching 100 or so innings under this format would cost the Sox maybe a Mil. Then, the Sox could control his performance when they most want to: during the post-season. The Sox post-season pitching performances this year suggest they are in need of at least one more starter option for the post-season next year.

This would do a number of things: first, it would keep the Sox and Schill together, at a modest price — Schill can’t be hurting for cash with what he has made over his career. Second, it would insure that, in the event that Schill does have a pitching epiphany during the year, the Sox wouldn’t have to face him next Fall on their way to a World Series Championship. It also would permit the Sox FO to do primarily what every FO dreams of doing: paying primarily for performance. I wonder what other thoughts there are on this?

I think the Sox offence is solid but I am very concerned about that #4 spot in the batting order. Youk did a good job in the 4 hole but I don’t think he is a # 4 guy long term. I think given the injury to Lowell and the need for a clean up hitter you have to give Teixeira a look or maybe a trading for Holliday. As for piching I think Peavy would be a great fit in the rotation but I would not pay too much for any starter given the young guys we have coming up

I think the Sox should re-sign Varitek for at least one more year and find or bring up a young catcher for Tek to mentor. Besides his offensive decline, other teams are running all over us, especially in the playoffs. Then maybe he can move into some kind of coaching role with the team, where he can utilize that talented mind of his and still be with the Sox.
Also nobody has said anything about Juan Cruz. Sure I know we have Pappelbon and okie, and sure I know he’d be best used as a closer, but I like this guy setting up for Pap, and in worse case scenario stepping in for Pap. 99MPH for a tasty price….now that’s living the highlife..lol. Oh and about Lowe, lets bring him back,good quality starts and quick efficient outs are always good. He was also rock solid 4 us in the 04 playoffs, clinching all 3 games if I’m not correct.

Robert, I played for the Newark Co-Pilots in Newark, NY, not Newark, NJ and I was there in 1970.

Mblendowski, I think the prototype cleanup hitter is one who drives in runs when given the opportunity. Youk did that as well as anyone in the game this year. Given the choice between Youk and a guy like Ryan Howard, I’m taking Youk every time. In the Sox lineup, I’d rather have my power guy 5th to protect Youk. I think Bay fits that bill well. To me, the big question is the #3 spot. Will Papi produce again? Youk’s year was amazing considering he had a very non-productive #3 hitter in front of him.

Regarding whether a hitter can switch sides and when: During an at bat, a batter may switch sides as many times as he desires. There is no limit. However, once the pitcher is on the rubber, the batter can no longer switch. Therefore, it is the pitcher who as control. If the batter steps in to bat left handed, the pitcher may then step on to the rubber to take his signal prepared to pitch left handed. At that point, the batter must bat left handed. Can the batter at that point call time? Yes, but the umpire should not allow him to switch sides. It is a situation where a good umpire will take control of the game and enforce the intent of the rule which basically says once the hitter is in the box, and the pitcher is on the rubber, it doesn’t change.

Even though Lugo bats from the right side, the fact that he uses his “daredevil” bat (described above) he can counter any pitcher. If his bat proves successful, all batters can have their bats designed the same way. I think the “daredevil” bat is the wave of the future.

I think that when the Lugo doll is finalized he should be using a “daredevil” bat. However, there should be two bats provided (i.e., a bonus bat”)- a black and white sided bat, and the bonus white and black sided bat.

Ian: I like the idea of Lowe coming back and also I think Theo would do well to go after Peavy, but I would include a bid for Scott Olson, AJ Burnett, and/or Ben Sheets. Sheets would compliment our lineup nicely. But rumor has it Steinbrenner is looking at all these guys too. Too bad John Danks isn’t for sale? He, like Sheets would make an excellent 5-6th arm that we need right now!!!!!! Let’s see what the post season negotiations bring.
There are alot of good pitchers available in both NL and AL. Hopefully Theo, will be looking at at least two outsiders to compliment who we already have. Burnett, Peavy, Olson, Perez, Martinez, Garland, Sabathia to name a few….. And we have a problem, if Hank signs Manny can you imagine Manny and A-Rod back to back in a lineup? A-Rod would be motivated to perform better than he has ever and both the Red Sox and Tampa Bay would be in trouble with this combo at the plate!!!! Comments welcome….Mark DiBernardo, Colonie New York

Theo, Texeira, Sheets/or Peavy and Holliday in our Christmas wish list lineup of free agents…………

Theo, send your scout out to Rochester to checkout Oswaldo Soso and how he pitches, work a deal to obtain him…..MDB Colonie New York

Welcome all you new posters. You’re gonna fit right in here. Look, it’s the off-season and there are new “faces”. Ian’s blog rocks!

The Sox need just a little tweaking. The bullpen; replace Timlin, Lopez, maybe Delcarmen although he has so much upside if he could only learn to throw strikes. Get a new utility infielder, however I think Cora did well while he was here. But someone with a little power and speed would be nice. Of course, if there is a guy who can field, run and hit he most likely has a full time position somewhere. Maybe there’s another Lowrie in AAA. I like our outfield the way it is. Why replace Bay? He can hit for power and average, has a little speed and plays a good defense. What’s not to like? Coco, Ellsbury and Drew round out a nice outfield. The big question on the field is Lowell. Can he recover? Papi doesn’t worry me as much. He knows how to hit, he just needs to get healthy. That leaves starting pitchers. Beckett will return to form. Remember he said that he struggled in ’04 after the WS with the Marlins? He’ll come back strong next year. Lester and Dice-K will be Lester and Dice-K, no worries. Wake is solid. He pitched some great games last summer and should have won 16. We need a good #4 starter. And a Paul Byrd type back-up. There are plenty of names out there, and there is some money freed up this year. So sign the best guy you can find, I say. What else??? Hmmm… how about the grounds keepers? Any ideas? And the dude working the score board…isn’t his contract up? I hear there’s a fellow in Chicago that might be willing to come to Boston. Why not score-keep for a winner? Is everyone happy with the peanut vendors? Ushers?

Hey, I forgot about the catcher situation. Arnie’s plan: sign Tek to a 2 or 3 year deal. Try to get Teagarden or whatever his name is from Texas. If that fails go for Saltalamacchia. His defense needs work, I hear, but with a name like Saltalamacchia he has to be good. Did I spell that right? What about George Kottaras? Isn’t he supposed to be ready soon?

Theo, we should see if the price and or trade is right for the following: Smoltz and Glavin from Atlanta, Ryan Dempster from Chicago, Rocco Baldelli from Tampa Bay, Brian Giles from San Diego, John Garland from LA, Ben Sheets from Milwaukee, Greg Maddux and Derek Lowe from Los Angeles, and Mark Texeira from Los Angeles and Dennys Reyes from Minnesota. How’s that to round out your club? And how much would this cost you?

Maybe we could get Mike Maddux too. I hear Edgar Martinez can still swing the bat.

Arnie, looks as if you were up a bit late last night.. Did you have to “close”??
I think that the ball-girl/bat-boy {politically correctly speaking “person(s)} contracts are up and I have my agent on a conference call as we speak. I think that I could bring MUCH more to the team than the current occupants of the jobs. My “Idobelieve”(adnauseaum) attitude would keep everyones spirits up…. lol

.. I say a great big YES to keeping Bay. He may never put up Zazu-esque numbers but he is a great fit with the team.

Ellen, I always close. Except Wednesday. And Monday. I nominate you: #1 Cheerleader and Batperson. See Theo for your contract and paychecks.

I really like the fact that this is the “off season” and we’re still talking Sox… It does a heart good.
I hope that Theo and Co. decide to make Tek an offer that all can live with. I just cant see him in any other uniform. When he leaves the Sox, it should be for retirement or a really good coaching position.
I’m glad that they excercised the option for Wake. I know everyone makes fun of his “79 mph fastball” but it sure gets the job done the majority of the time, and his knuckler still screws guys up and makes them look damn silly. Jeter said something to the effect of It may be hard to catch, but it’s damn hard to hit too! This year was an off year for him and even Tito said his numbers were deceiving. He should have had 14-16 w’s… anyway…………….
Things will start to get interestin in the next 10-12 days and then again with the winter meetings.
Have a good one y’all!!

Can someone also find a “daredevil” glove for Lugo?

Wakefield is quite a bargain! Double digit wins for only $4M.

One other thing if I were Theo. I’d buy two Harleys and keep one stock just like it came from the factory. The other, I would chop with a radical, or “mad” as the kids say, Sox paint job. I’d ride the stock bike when I was feeling like an executive, suit, or “puke” as we used to say in my wilder days. The chopper would be my every day ride. That should take care of all the Sox needs. Now, how long til pitchers and catchers????

P & C report a little earlier next year because of the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The general date I saw was 2/14/2009. Some teams may move this a day or two!

The Sox P’s and C’s reported on the 15th last year.. but this year unfortunatley, they get a little extra rest……….

I think the general date this year was 2/21 or 22/2008, so it looks like the sox were early.

Hope you guys missed my satires. This new one is:
What BORAS might say.

Boras has been a rather staggering presence in baseball but thanks to covert operations I have uncovered some of the letters that Boras had written to teams.

Dear Boston Red Sox.
As you know, one of the greatest catchers to ever live on this planet since the dawn of time is yet again requesting a small contract and a small request of financial survival.
Jason had a bad year. This was due to a mitochondria tactacious degeneration that attacked his system while on a Safari being bitten by a rare stegtareous fictionousness. This deadly insect crippled Jason for the year as was supplied in the now lost physicians report but did he complain? Jason as you know has managed the pitchers, helped co-manage the team as well as manage the Microsoft Corporation while running a Veterans hospital and both the DNC and RNC as well as OPEC. I could provide the reports but Jason in his humblenessness has decided to even deny such reports exist ? can?t you feel the love.
So in short, look forward to Jason hitting .320 with 52 home runs and 212 rbi?s. This is Jason Varitek and I think the small $250 billion dollar salary over two years is a small price to pay for a legend. I never lie to you.
Honest Boras
Dear Toronto Blue Jays,
Zazu is the premiere hitter of the game and has stated that he will be breaking Ted William?s long held record of hitting .720. Zazu will also be striking 6000 home runs and get 300 rbi?s while still inspiring all with his gold glove play in left field and that?s just year one!
There are terrible rumors about Zazu pushing someone to the ground. That?s simply a distortion of the facts. Zazu was struck by a bad bout of gamma radiation and not only turned his skin a light green but created a serious mental condition. The Red Sox were well aware of his condition but failed to provide the simple radiation suit and instead letting him lead line the ?B? in his Red Sox helmet. Can you imagine the cruelty of the Sox organization? The Dodgers provided him with a lead lined baseball uniform. They cared!
There are also rumors Zazu faked injuries. That is simply not true. Zazu got into a horrific car accident but thanks to Zazu being Zazu all that was damaged was a cracked patella that the Sox refused to repair. Instead Zazu played in pain wearing a brace made with nails and screws as well as a pain pump because he refused to quit. The medical records were lost in a tragic car fire that burned his back forcing him to wear a special lead lined brace just so he could walk without much pain.
Now Zazu is pain free ? but is he ready to face your team. All we?re asking is 2 billion per year including all expenses and trips to Italy along with co-ownership of the team and life time box seat tickets. So much for so little from Honest Boras.
Honest Boras

Another honest BORAS letter.

To whom it may concern,
It has been a real pleasure to take on the great Barto Colon. As you know, Colon suffered a terrible, injury cursed year but once again the Red Sox, with all their insane mentality was the cause. Mr. Colon left the Sox not because of frustration with the team, but the team?s continuing demand that a course in Evolution be taught in between innings including a full lecture series and Charles Darwin?s Theory of Evolution be required reading. Colon, a fervent Christian who has given up bone marrow, two kidneys, one lung, spinal fluid, bone marrow, his liver and an appendix just to save lives refused to be forced to hear such rubbish.
That?s of course just the beginning. Because of cheap and inferior exercise equipment, Mr. Colon suffered innumerable injuries as well as ridicule from the liberals of the Red Sox. He served with his heart and soul ? can you serve him the 1 billion needed for him to fund his community church?

Honest Boras

Where is the Boras letter about Varitek to the Tigers?

Varitek will be back because everyone wants him back and he wants to be back. The redsox know he will be good with this team and Tek knows he will be better off with this team. If he goes to another team, he could become a back-up catcher but with the redsox he is guaranteed a starting position.

As for Mark Teixera at first baseman, that is the move i will be willing to make. Ortiz is on a slow decline and Lowell wont be the same. You need Mark Teixera because with him you could improve Ortiz’s stats and everybody else’s stats.

I will not trade for Holliday but I have to agree with you with going after Peevy. He is a stopper who would just love it here. However, I will only do it if i can sign him until he 34 years. Meaning he is 27 now, sign for the next two years and I would like to sign him for another five. Big Risk but it will be worth it.

Hey pathan@bu.edu: Appreciate the support for bidding for Peavy, I would add that Brian Fuentes from Colorado or Ben Sheets from Milwaukee might also look good in a Sox uniform and worth the checkout by the front office. Ian was laughing several blogs ago about Peavy, Martinez, Sabathia, AJ Burnett all being mentioned in one blog, and even the suggestions of John Danks who is not available this year, but I will tell you all any two of these in a uniform that I have mentioned with what we have now in our rotation—you may all laugh, but we would be the envy of the MLB and any two of these, with who we already have, would make the Sox unstoppable!!!! Now on the realistic side any of these guys may cost us the farm!!!! And probably, Theo, would say not doable or realistic, but, the Yanks are going to do some heavy bidding this year for pitchers,we should get at least two of them before they do. But we have the opportunity with all these free agents in the market this year and good ones to make some MLB history!! You know the Yanks will be trying, so why not beat them to the punch? Feedback welcome.. Mark DiBernardo, Colonie, New York


Why Ben Sheets? I think the Red Sox would be totally insane if they signed that guy.


I say thank you to Curt Schilling and after that say good luck. I think the Red Sox should part ways with him. I think he was a crook this past season. Signing that contract knowing he was injured/hurt. I also think the Red Sox made a mistake and not letting him have surgery. They wanted him to rehab and that made no sense too me!

It looks like another Big 10 team ( Penn State ) will get embarassed in the B.C.S. Championship game. Death…taxes and a Big 10 team getting blown-out in a title game. Gurantees in life! LOL! I thought that Penn State/Ohio State game set football back 30 years!

It’s election time tomorrow so to have fun…here is:
ZAZU for President.
Come on guys…please leave a comment or two!
Hello, I?m Zazu. I know tomorrow you?re going to pick your next President but forget those two ? vote for me. Why? I?m cool! Every Sunday, you come to the White House, we?ll jam and for your safety, you?ll get a free loaded handgun and $100 dollars. I collect the handguns after the event for your safety of course.
Don?t want a war in Iraq. I?m cool with that. You pick the next war. You want to go to war with ah?Montana or something?we can do that. You want to go to war with Detroit?cool.
Tax cuts. Heck I?ll donate my new $100 million dollar contract with the Mets and make sure all taxes are eliminated everywhere. No more taxes for everyone. I’m just going to shut it all down. Government will make money like everyone else — they’ll make it a business. U.S., Inc. They can sell cars and stuff.
Now as for me, heck watch me next year. With Secret Security following me on the base paths loaded up with oozie?s. I promise you, even a ground ball turns into a home run when they start firing ? ha ha!
You want me to stop terrorism. I?ll stop it. I?ll make sure every American has a supply of nuclear warheads. Those terrorists won?t be messing with us.
You want me to help small business ? no problem. I?ll fix it. You want me to stop global warming?ha, I?ll stop all globes from getting too hot in the stores. See how easy it is!
In between innings, instead of making phone calls, I?ll do white house business so I can be a full time DH for the Mets as well as President. I know you’re wondering — no DH in the National League — that’s before I become President.

Have to agree with you about Sheets. Has he ever gone a complete season without going on the DL? When he is right he is just plain nasty but he misses a lot of starts. I think Theo will be careful this year when it comes to additions. The Sox just have to stay healthy. The injury bug really bit them hard and often this year. I am still worried about Lowell’s rehab at his age. The Sox need to think about long term in his case. Maybe I am finally ready to admit that Texiera is the answer at first with Youkalis going to third. Who knows…….That’s what Theao gats paid the big bucks for…VISION!!!!!

Hi, I?m Julio Lugo. The Ju is pronounced ?hoo? by the way. Anyway, I?ve been watching these Presidential campaigns and they all say three things, character, experience, and no new taxes. I think ? everyone knows I?m quite a character. Experience ? I?m play baseball. No new taxes ? if that gets me to the Presidency ? no problem.
You know, there really isn?t much to being a President. You have speech writers for everything you say, advisors to make decisions for you and press people to tell you how to act. I can do that because Gary told me that my baseball career will be best served by me running AND winning the Presidency. So vote for me — Lugo

I think Lugo and ZaZu ought to get together and run on the same ticket. ZaZu for president and Lugo for VP- an unbeatable ticket. When they go on the tour together each of them can make their speeches and the crowd won’t understand either one of them.(Any resemblance between that election and the current one is purely intentional). The chant for Lugo would be LUGO-VP. It sounds like a tropical drink and is sure to get the crowd “stirred” up. He would provide the warmup entrance for ZaZU. I can just see how many impersonators there will be mimicking ZaZU- dreadlocks and all; and how many female impersonators will be mimicking Lugo.

Dave, can I be your tax advisor? Here’s my plan: I propose a 100% tax on the wealthy. This includes not just income, but all assets and pocket change. Everything you earn, everything you own, give it all to your Uncle Sam. Then we’ll distribute all this wealth to the poor. The middle class stays the same. Next year the process reverses itself and all the newly rich go back to being poor and the formerly wealthy, now poor, go back to being rich for a year. This will create untold numbers of jobs for the middle class. The moving industry alone will reap huge benfits as we schlepp the rich and poor back and forth every year. All the repair (wo)men we’ll need to fix up the ruined mansions every year, not to mention tidy up the ghettos for the new residents, who, after all, just spent a year being fabulously well-to-do. We’ll need advisors for the newly rich; how to act when attending the opera, for instance. And don’t forget our newly minted poor people. They’ll need advise if they are to survive in the ghettos. How to deal with rats, how to talk to your “homie” friends, just to name a few. Dave, you and I will create the next great industry for this country. Have your people get with my people and we’ll do lunch.

That sounds like an Obama-Mac Combo.(A new Happry Meal). In fact a new Reality Show will be born. Spread the wealth and create jobs. After a few iterations the Middle Class may want to get into the action. It sounds like fun and the Middle Class will not want to just hang around and be bored.

Pangelotti, you mean “….a new UNhappy meal….”

ARNIE for President.
Hello, I?m Arnie. I?m running for President and I have one goal ? the best food for America. That?s right. You got tax problems, I?ve got pineapple upside down cake. You?ve got wars ? I?ve got the chocolate devil?s food cake war cake?or something like that. You?ve got global warming ? I?ve got the deep fried banana submarines with just a touch of nutmeg.
You don?t need a President, you need a cook with taste.

Hi, I?m Julio Lugo?and I?m Zazu. We?re running for President and it was decided?after a long and hard fight that I?ll be President and Zazu will be Vice President.
That?s right. I?ll be able to play ball and hit 60,000 home runs and essentially do nothing. I like that. ?ow?I feel I?m going to the disabled list already.?
That?s right and I?m incompetent?hey how does that make me a good President? Lugo doesn?t like feeling stupid. Maybe I?ll pick a cross dressing Rosanne to be my secratery.
Zazu says ? vote for the Lugo/Zazu ticket or write it in.

Hello, I?m Dan Quayle and I?ve finally found a candidate that speaks to me. It?s the Zazu/Lugo ticket. Ya that?s right. The two together and better than the two together and that means endive for you. Get it ? endive? Did you get it ? Endive? Heck I don?t even get it but it doesn?t matter for a mind is a waste of time.
That?s why I want you to vote for Zazu/Lugo. They will change the world and then change for change.

Hey, BosoxBrian…You sure are hard on me about Big Ten football. Please remember, I grew up following Yankee Conference football — UMass, UConn, UNH, UMaine, UVm and URI. I remember when the most significant game on BC’s schedule was their Thanksgiving tilt against Holy Cross. That’s where my real roots are. In fact, football at my alma mater (BU), got so bad while I attended, that they ultimately disbanded the sport. Think of that, the school of Harry Agganis!

I do think it will be interesting to see what happens if Alabama and Texas Tech win out…I would suspect that Penn State would wind up in the Rose Bowl vs. USC. With all of the head-knocking that’s going to go on in the next several weeks, I expect to see Ohio State, even with 2 losses, as high as No. 8, and suspect they will wind up in some BCS Bowl game. Except for the past 2 years, they have a pretty good bowl record during the past 10 or so years. I recognize you think they couldn’t get past Boise State.

Obviously, I sort of like my creative contract for Schill, but boy, you poured a lot of cold water on that idea as well. Is there a cold spell I’m not aware of in Central Florida. Next thing I know, you’ll be advocating the Sox going out and getting Matt Holliday just because I’ve become a “Bay-watcher” [lol] Hope all is well with you. May find myself in the sunshine state next weekend for a little golf getaway.

Who do you think Florida will favor tomorrow? Better start digging some holes in your backyard quick…before the Obama tax people start coming around to collect all of our income. Supposedly, once he’s elected, Obama will launch a tax simplification effort. He’s will be simplifying our tax forms. After providing our personal information, the new form will only have 2 lines:

How much money did you make last year?
Send it in. (lol)

How about the ZaZu/Lugo Combo being called the “SlapHappy Meal”???

Hey Dave, May I Arnies running “mate”????

May I be….

I have a question??? Who had more days off last year??? Zazu or Zabusch???

Hey Ellen that’s a great idea. As far as days off, no question Zabusch!

To answer the question about Ben sheets because when he’s healthy and on he’s on, he’s on. But my first choice would be Peavy and/or AJ Burnett in the rotation with who we already have and if this was humanly possible without going broke, we would be the envy of both the American and National League. Looks like Sabathia offered something by the Brewers, thats good because now Hank will be stymied for now….. we don’t need him on the Yanks. Ryan Dempster from Chicago may be a deal and so may Brian Fuentes from Colorado. But Peavy and or Burnett my first choice or one of them and these other two. Creativity will empower this club through 2012. Fans are vested, and every blog I’ve read speaks about what can the Sox do to improve who they already have….This is a question worth intense investigation, and would serve us well. I hope somebody is listening. Comment welcome, Mark DiBernardo Colonie, New York

mdibernardo.. hasnt Burnett spent more than his share of time on the bench with missed starts, I dont know his dl history offthe top of my head.. I just am not comfortable with him. Sheets as well has more than his share of injuries/ailments.. CC Sabathia has said he wants to stay in the NL.. and Hank is stymied when trying to figure out the way to bathroom when he awakens each day…. I think he gets that from jis dads side of the gene pool, HANK.. STAY AWAY FROM THE DEEP END HOMEY/// okay.. good boy says George!!)
Each and every REDSOX Blog, each and every year talks about the improvements that COULD be made..
(just a little bit of information here since you’re new here, BTW WELCOME!!!) I think that you will find that this is not your TYPICAL
REDSOX blog…. I have faith that the Theo Brain Trust has at the ready a complete list of who they are going to go after just to get in a bidding war for just to drive up the $$ cha-ching value, and those that they are serious about.
I hust hope they go for the SOLID players and not the big dollar BIGGER EGO type guys..(big dollar ego guys dont fit in too well with the guys, proven fact!!) I havent been too far off in my specs to date (since I’ve been on Ians blog).
Good to have a new person on here with good thoughts!!!


You wrote you were a Yankee Conference fan growing up. Is there a difference between the Big 10 of now and the Yankee Conference? LOL!! Actually the Big 10 is a great conference, so many great players over the years and so many great coaches as well. As of right now the Big 10 is on a down cycle but I believe it will be back. The Big 10 seems too get beat bad up front when they play some of the other conference’s. The O.L. in the Big 10 gets whipped up front. They can’t handle the speed! I would love too see Penn State play for all of the marbles and beat a team like Bama. Paterno is one of the legends and Saban is a JERK!

Don’t get me wrong I think Schilling is one helluva pitcher. Also one of the best big game pitchers in my time but I think he needs to take his act elsewhere. Either play for someone else or retire.

I really don’t like too discuss politics but ( yikes ) I do agree with you. I don’t know what is worse…Obama or his wife? LOL!!

ARNIE/ELLEN ticket win ELECTION!!!!!!!!!!
In a stunning upset that rocked the nation, legendary cook Arnie and Ellen found themselves as President and Vice President of the nation. Here is Arnie?s acceptance speech.
?I just?I just wanted to promote my business. I spent a small fortune making and sending out food to every voting place in the country. I had no idea people would vote for me. Oh man?what do I do now!?
Arnie once again is showing the humility and grace that has proven so fortuitous in his victory.
?I was gonna vote for McCain but then I tried his breakfast tamales and I?I just lost it. Anyone who can cook that good deserves my vote!?
Mr. Obama?s voters felt the same way.
?You know, his deceptively simple Indian dish?I just went mad and ate half the bowl. I kept going back and back for more and am I glad I voted before I found myself in the hospital with abdominal distention from eating too much food but I don?t care. Arnie is my man. ?
Ellen, his new V.P. had this to say.
?The first thing I?m going to do is regulate the industry and make everyone buy a CORDED phone who works in a business office and eliminate carports. Garages for all cars!?
While Ellen?s unique style of governing can be attributed to no experience in politics, we had to ask her what she meant by that. She only said one word: Rays. Apparently Ellen has been getting too much sun lately.
So if you?re republican or democrat, this reporter also voted for Arnie and his delicious stuffed cabbage and dill bread. Oh I am so looking forward to a White House with taste.

To ellenc: Yes, they have been injury prone, thoughts about Funtes from Colorado or Dennys Reyes from Minnesota to add the luster to our lineup……Thoughts are welcome on the pitching rotation you would envision…….MDB, Colonie, New York

Sorry, Fuentes not Funtas, typeo…….

I’ve got a great idea. Lets trade Theo for the KC general manager. We pay Theo’s salary for the next year, give up a player or two to be named later, and large amount of cash. In return we get the KC general manager or the Pittsburg GM if we decide to do a three-way deal. Remember Theo being Theo, going on a 3 or 4 month sabatical a few years back, trying to find himself . What a flake, questionable team player. What was that all about?

No, I don’t want to trade Theo. Just trying to make a point about the Manny trade. It was ludicrous! I sure would like Manny back. In my mind, with Manny we beat TB in the ALCS & Philly in the WS. Without him, well you know the outcome.

We all had fun with Manny being Manny until management decided it wasn’t fun any more. All they had to do was make a commitment to him and Manny would have been the Manny they wanted.

Bay’s good but he’s not Manny. More like J.D. Drew. Players of Manny’s caliber are rare, e.g. Ted, Yaz, and Clemens. We gave up on Clemens and he takes his new teams to the WS and gets a boat load of Cy Youngs on the way. And we all know about that guy named Ruth and what he did after he left the sox.

Manny should be going into the Hall of Fame wearing a Red Sox cap, now it will probably be a Dodger cap, or worse yet, a Yankee cap.

Someone like Burnett or Sheets may be a viable gamble for a team with near MLB arms at AAA to fill in for any injury time. I’m thinking Bowden or Buchholz for the Sox.


Burnett and Sheets will cost $$$$ and whoever signs them…..I say good luck! Only pitcher on the free agent market I would like too see in Boston is D. Lowe!

Robert GK we can move on from Peavy or Burnett, Sheets but what about Fuentes and Dempsey, depth provided and we don’t sell the farm in the process…….

I like Lowe as the number four in Boston or a few other places too!

Dempsey or Fuentes both sound good to me, but I think Fuentes wants to close. I also heard Peavy would not add Boston to his list of acceptable teams. My best guess why is he would not be the clear-cut ace of the staff!

I really think Sheets and Burnett are about to come down with Matt Clement, Brad Penney and Carl Pavano syndrome. I think the Sox would be very disappointed with the $$$$$ spent on these two guys vs time served on the mound next year. Lester/Beckett and Matsuzaka are a great three to build around. I am wondering if Masterson will return to the rotation. A few question marks but I trust Theo. He wants to win as bad as anyone in the Red Sox Nation. I am ready no matter what happens….Go Red Sox!!!!

cfarnham04, Fuentes or Dempsey or Scott Olsen would also serve our pitching needs well, but we have to think big!!!!! Because we are big!!!! another two in the rotation to complement who we already have, and we are ready for 09 series, but there is also that small matter of signing Texeira and Holliday to give us those bats we need to counter the Yankees A-Rod and Manny lineup, Ruth and Gherig all over again, only thing that will take that down are a couple of young, FAs with bazooka arms that we can add to our mix of pitchers….Gottabelievein09

I think the following names should never be mentioned on here because they will not be a member of the Red Sox. Sheets. ( he gets hurt too much ) …Sabathia.( too much $$$$ ) …Fuentes ( wants too close ) and Burnett should probably be added to that list as well.

I think that the Sox would need to be very careful with Scott Olsen. He brings with him ALOT of baggage.. (drinking problem, and very public anger issues). That just doesnt seem to be something that we need in the clubhouse. Living in South Florida where Olsen played, his issues were very visible to me.

mdibernardo.. before we get ahead of ourselves (zazu {ramirez} isnt in Pinstripes yet) take a look at last years free agent class.. look at all the guys who had banner years in their contract season, then look what they did in their 1st year of the contract.. Thats a good barometer.

greenestmd: Zazu (Manny) desserted his team mates and the fans. He was getting paid $20 million to play baseball, and couldn’t find it in himself to go out there and earn his pay check. No question he goes into the HOF and he’s one of the great right handed hitters of all time, but there’s no place in baseball for quitting, and that’s what he did. The Sox were a better team without him. He went on a tear when he got to LA which only further proves he could have done it while he was in Boston. He chose not to. You could see it coming and so could Theo. He was a disgrace to himself, and to the game of baseball. It wasn’t just Theo. The senior players on the team wanted him gone, and management listened. You don’t see that unless things are bad. In fact, in over 50 years of following baseball, I have never seen anything like that. He’s like a little kid. He didn’t get his way, so he took his bat and his ball and went home.

You’re right, Jason Bay is no Manny Ramirez with the bat. But in every other way, including attitude, he’s a better player. I don’t believe Zazu makes a difference in the TB series. Their pitching was just too good.

Garry… I TOTALLY agree with you on that statement!!

I think that the Red Sox should offer Michael Bowden and a player to be named later for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Sox should also sign Teck and bring him back for 2 more years if he will take that.

Also there is alot of talk about getting Texeira… WHY???? The Sox have a great young 1st basemen in Lars Anderson who will be in AAA this year and he can hit for POWER!!!! I say act like they are in the running for Texeira so the Yankees overpay for him. If the Sox go after Texeira and get him where would they play him????There are 2 years left in Lowell’s contract then he will be gone.

At that time the Sox can move Youk to 3rd and bring up Lars Anderson to play 1st who at that time could have the same impact as Ryan Braun had on the Brewers when he came up from their farm.

and greene.. as far as a committment, what do you call the contract he was STILL under to the Sox??? That was a committment that he backed out of when he took Manny being Manny to a whole new level and decided to let the bat rest on his shoulder against Mo Riviera and not legging out infield hits and rolling over flys that dropped in and laughing about it. You like Manny, hey, thats fine. Everyones entitled to like who ever they wish. But don’t tell me that because The Sox FO wouldnt talk to him about an extension DURING THE SEASON that they gave up on him. Tell me, when is the last time that the Sox talked to any player DURING the season about an extension or renewal??
and don’t think that this little drama wasnt designed by and executed with Boras’ help. By trading him he’s able to get more than the 20 million per year that the extension called for. More money for him means more money for Boras. Good Luck to him.. and quite frankly I don’t care if he DOESN’T go to the Hall in a RedSox cap….

kcirtapn: On Fox Sports today in an article by Ken Rosenthal, he said that Laird would most likely be the catcher that Texas let’s get away.. They are very big on keeping Saltalamacchia. And I’m betting that Theo and the rest of the Execs already have the list of who they will make a true run to get and those that they will bluff with.

The Dodgers got rid of Brad Penney today. I’m guessing Theo and company will be interested. Penney played with the fish when John Henry owned the team. A healthy Penney would be a great move by the Red Sox.

Zazu never missed a game with the Dodgers. Look no further than that. You don’t have to be a graduate of Harvard to figure out Zazu’s story.

I’m fed up with free agency.
The Red Sox have shown me the last few years that if you bring up talent, you get 1000 times the bang for the buck. The Sox paid $100 plus for Dice-K. Was it worth it? Did he outpitch John Lester? Is he better than Lester who works his heart out. Dice-K cares, I have no doubt on that but at the same time the rational escapes me.
The Yankees dumped a truckload of money on A-Rod — so he can have a subpar season. You pay a player too much money and you will never see it back. Unfortunately Boras is so good at what he does and the owners are so dumb that they’ll buy into it and dump money and finances into players who will never return the investment.
Players who become elite and are payed buckets of money no longer care about performance and struggles. It’s now a job with a retirement plan. Zazu, Texeira and others will fall into that category.
Jason Bay is a great example of a good free agent. He plays his heart out with a lot of talent. Zazu played for the wallet. Wakefield plays his heart out for $4 million a year. Colon played for…what reason?
Theo is smart about one thing. I think Gagne was the last straw for him. Buy cheap players such as Byrd and Bay and you get a good team. Buy elite players and you get Zazu — lesson learned.

To daveogs: Not exactly my friend…..AROD next to Manny in pinstripes is a very real possibility and is Ruth and Gherig all over again. One feeds on the other to get those homeruns, competition ensues between the two, the Yankees get runs, our club gets beat, Steinbrenners are happy!!!!!! $$$$$$$$$ and only $$$$$$$$$ will buy that situation. Please do not even mention Byrd, he was a mistake for us I believe, your not shopping at the five and dime my friend anymore, your dealing with MLB free agency, like it or not, its our reality, and the pocketbooks of the clubs reality. An old friend of mine once said from MLB, outwatch the competition, otherwise the competition will outwatch you!!!!!
And your left holding an empty bag with alot of unproven talent from the farm that needs two to three years in the majors to really get it right, and the fans are paying are ticket prices and merchandise in the meantime, expecting WS champion results with the team that they love. Thats why baseball is America’s favorite past-time. Texeira is a bat that we need now, Holliday is a bat we need now, Peavy and or Burnett is additional pitchers that we need now, not yesterday or tomorrow. Not holding an empty cup in ’09 while the young’ins are still trying to prove themselves. The farm is valuable, but FA’s ( I don’t care if you don’t want to spend the money) can be as equally as valuable for immediate results!!!!! We are a business first, my friend, and should always be ahead of the competition. We are are supported by a fan base, that expect results. Please, don’t even mention the farm when talking about the pre-existing talent in the game through FA’s that already exists and is proven!!!!! Our harsh reality its going to cost us money, period. You want to wait for the farm, or make our dreams a reality as the GM’s meet? Theo knows the deal, and what’s expected of him…….Diehardbostonfansince1969 Comments welcome, even opposing ones!!!!!!!!!

I am still surprised no one is even mentioning Juan Cruz of the snakes. Holliday interests me, plus he was money in the playoffs 4 the rockies, (even if he didn’t touch the plate). Do not get rid of Bowden.

If you really want to tweek this team, trade Coco Crisp for Nick Swisher, adds power, good on base %, plays all 3 outfield positions, plus 1st base.
Dont need Texiera, saves money, dont need Kotsay, or Casey with this one move.
Switch Hitter with power and versatility and young is good move. I hear he is a good man in the clubhouse too.
Next move I would not sign Varitek, one of the worst hitters in baseball PAST 2 seasons with runners on base. We probably lost more games because of his offensive incapabilties, then won with his defense, too much is said callling games 20 years ago catchers called games not it is done by coaching staff. Me I would sign Josh Bard, gain 2 draft picks and move on. I like Tek too, I loved Yaz too but time is against him. Time to get younger.DO NOT TRADE ANY YOUNG ARMS IN OFF SEASON. Be patient teams are going to come at us with better deals as spring approaches.

I’m not sure that Holliday would be an upgrade over Bay, but beyond a catcher, the Sox biggest need is a very big bat for the four slot. Would Lowell or Teixeira suffice? Also it’s hard to ignore Varitek’s value as the heart of a champion.

As a supporter of playing the kids and growth from within,
I like the wait for Anderson idea. I hear a lot of positives about his bat but nothing about his glove and someone mentioned he may be the DH replacement for Ortiz. It’s impossible to find minor league fielding statistics!

We sure do have alot of talented ballplayers on this roster and don’t have much in the way of holes to fill. We have great depth players to fill in if and when an injury or just a rest is needed.
My only concern is at catcher. I love Tek and his leadership with this club but if he gets hurt or just has another off year we need something in the wings. Don’t we need a young triple A catcher that has great potential and can catch a knuckleball too. It would be my suggestion to move a quality player out in a trade for a young prospect that can move up when and if needed in the next year or two. didn’t I see a young knuckleballer in single A that could be arriving soon and could get some great coaching form the best (Wakefield) just like he did.
Go Red Sox- loyal fan from Florida ( ex- Mass. kid.)

I understand your point but consider the talent we have from within: Pedroia, Papelbon, Youk, Lowrie, Ellsbury, etc. The Sox teams build on the farm team. In 1975 the gold dust twins were Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Both of which were a huge reason why the Sox made and won the playoffs. A farm system is critical where free agents fill voids. The problem of course is Boras and stupid owners. ARod got the motherload of money for a subpar season. Zazu did well because he needed to earn a contract. Zazu will transform himself to the aches and pains man once the contract gets set. Farm system kids take time to develop but play their hearts out. Pedroia just won the gold glove! The Devil Rays did it through the farm system. The Yankees did it through Boras. Who did better this year? Cleveland did well in 2007 because of the farm club. Free agents usually can’t handle the Scott Boras contracts because of the pressure to justify the boatload of money. Varitek cannot get a 4 year contract. That’s just insane. Just my humble opinion.


All the talk on Varitek is just too much. His bad offensive year could be attributable to his divorce. His batting can be improved if he decides to switch to a line drive contact hitter. His swing is typically a major league home run swing, but he has lost too much on his bat speed. He is dropping his hands, taking too many first pitches and probably is thinking(psychological problem) too much. I do hope, however, that the BoSox keep him, but he wil also need to give in a bit on the financial side.

I am very surprised Youkilis didn’t win the gold glove at first base. Only reason I can think of he played only 125 games at first. Then again he only played 135 games at first in 2007 and won the gold glove. Of course in 2007 he made 0 errors at first. Then again he made only 4 errors at first this year. Call me a homer but I call it the way I see it. Youkilis is one of the best if not the best first basemen in the game! Pena isn’t even in his class. Texeria….Lee ( Cubs ) just too name a couple are outstanding but not Pena. I like Carlos Pena and who doesn’t. Everything you read/here about him is nothing but the best. For the record Pena made 2 errors at first this year. Then again Rafael Palmeiro won a gold glove at fist base one year even though he was mostly a D.H. that year! My gripe of the day I guess.

Congrats to Pedroia. His first of many gold gloves coming his way. Buchholz has a no hitter thanks to Pedroia. I wish we could clone Youkilis and Pedroia, those are the guys you win with. Not Zazu. I’ll take those type of guys over Zazu. Zazu is nothing but a money griping athlete. Leaves the Red Sox and never misses a game with the Dodgers. Things that make me go hmmmmmmmmmm. LOL!

I don’t see how Boras can get 4 years for Varitek. Whoever gives Varitek a 4 year contract is a fool for sure! I need to get a hold of that g.m. if he gave Tek a 4 yr. deal. LOL!! I’ll be sitting pretty for sure. lol.

I don’t think Holliday is an upgrade over Bay. no way! I’ll take Bay.

I hope the rumor is true about the Yankees interested in Peavey. That would be great news for Red Sox fans! LOL!!

Peavy a Yankee is good for the Sox? How do you figure that as Peavy is definately a top of the rotation starter while Hughes and Kennedy are not?


I don’t view Peavy as a top of the rotation guy/ace. His numbers are a bit scewed because he pitches in a very friendly ballpark for pitchers. He doesn’t go very deep into games. He also has gotten lit up in October. I would love too see Peavy in pinstripes, yes indeed! Also to trade for him you have too give up way too much, not too mention all of his perks. If I am Cashman, I would say thanks but no thanks. Have Peavy stay in the N.L. and pitch his 6 innings! I think this past season Peavy only recorded 7 outs past the 6th inning. Not impressed!

OK. I think you are in the minority. Certainly Peavy would be an upgrade over Ponson or Rasner and probably Pettitte also. And the Yankees would likely not give up anyone currently judged to be major league ready, at least the names I’ve seen are not.


Being in the minority is not a bad thing. If the Yankees do trade for Peavy ( I don’t think it will happen ) they will have to give up alot. Towers isn’t going to give him away…no way! I am guessing he ends up in Atl. or Hou. Here’s hoping he ends up in pinstripes! Yanks fell asleep last winter when they wouldn’t pull the trigger on the Santana deal. I’ll take Santana over Peavy any day of the week!

“Fool me once shame on you..Fool me twice shame on ME”
I hope Theo Epstein reads this, DO NOT DO ANY TRADES WITH TEXAS, THE LAST FIASCO THAT YOU DID COST US SOME GOOD PEOPLE…Remember GAGNE for KASON GABBARD AND DAVID MURPHY…bet you wish you could have that one back. I hear everybody screaming about their catching this is crazy. Ramirez, SALTY, Teagarden, have a total of 134 games in the majors. fielding % sucks. Ramirez 17 games Fielding percentage .984 Salty 101 games .984%,Teagarden 16 games .961%. I am too ashamed to put down their hitting. These are unproven commodities, DO NOT TRADE ANY, AND I REPEAT DO NOT TRADE ANY OF OUR GOOD YOUNG ARMS FOR THESE GUYS. Also none strike me as exceptional in hitting. I guess Teagarden for all 16 games he played. I think total HR is 10. MIGHT AS WELL SIGN Varitek.There are better catchers out there cheaper good fielders and not bad hitters who are way better defensively than these guys. Josh Bard at least got 384 games behind the plate with a .993 fielding percentage. Getting any of these catchers from Texas makes no sense to me. Especially to give up maybe the next Jon Lester.

Congrats to Dustin Pedroia on his Gold Glove. He’s rock solid at second base and can turn two with the best of them. I’m not sure Youk should have won the Gold Glove at first, but he had to be right there. My disappointment is for Ellsbury. This kid played a magnificent outfield, all three positions, all year long. He still has yet to make his first error and he sure made a ton of highlight reel caliber catches this year. I know he lacks some arm strenghth, but he was as good or better than any of the three that won the award.

I’m in agreement with anyone who thinks the majority of the roster should be developed from within. I think you fine tune the roster with free agents but if you start trying to buy pennants ……. well just look at the Yankees and Tigers. The difference between John Lester and the top dollar pitchers in baseball is insignificant. I think you’ll see the same thing with Buchholz as he develops. Counting Wakefield, the Sox have four solid starters. How many teams can say that? They don’t need to pay $15 million for a front line pitcher. It’s a bad investment for a need that just isn’t that great.

I wasn’t very high on Santana, but after what happened to Hughes and Kennedy in 2008, it does look like that trade should have been made. It’s hard to imagine Santana would have made the Yankees a playoff team on his own and I think he had a better year in the NL than he would have had in the AL.

rbsul9: I guess that Tito and Theo must be mistaken when they talk about how Tek “calls the game” and how he commands and directs the pitching staff… I wish Tito and Theo would get their information right!!! You know those know nothing Execs and the Coaching staff is always the last to know!!!!

Tek will probably offered 1-2 year contract with production incentives, and I think he’ll take it to stay here… Can’t see him in another set of colors…


I doubt the Yanks would have made the playoffs with Santana. I am in agreement with you but here the Yankees are a year later and still looking for the same thing. A top of the rotation/ace pitcher. Cabrera also was in the deal. Last I heard Cabrera was driving Interstate 81 and looking for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LOL!!


I’m guessing Tek is offered a 2 year deal with incentives that could get a 3rd yr. kicked in. I agree with you, can’t see him in another uniform More importantly I don’t think Varitek sees himself wearing another uniform as well.

Kramer…. I WOULD be an improvement over the Donut boy Poson!!!!!


I think going into last season there was too much pressure on Hughes/Kennedy. Same expectations were on Buchholz as well. I would expect Buchholz too bounce back. Hughes as well. I am not very high on Kennedy.


If I owned a deli near Yankee Stadium I would want Ponson back! LOL!!

haha!!! or a Dunkin Donuts!!!!


Anything to do with food…Ponson would be a great customer! I still can’t believe he is still pitching in the big leagues. My oh my. Garry should get his arm ready. LOL!!

Brian… If Clay-boy (he just looks like one of John-boy Waltons brothers… (1970’s TV show for those wondering who John-Boy is) get’s rid of the Penthouse Playmate, he can do a total re-focsuing on baseball.. I just think that all the “celebrity” after his no-hitter and all the “wunderkind” talk, that the pressure tooks its toll on him and in turn it affected the Sox’ season.

Garryy!!!! Get ready my friend!!! Your agent Brianis talking to some Big Execs to get you a Zazu-type contract…
Hey Bri— Sure are alot of new “faces” on here this winter…
Very intersting…
All the other blogs are shutting down and Ians is busier than ever!!! You gotta love Ian!!!!

… Oh and with all the Restaurants IN the New Yankee Stadium.. Ponson wont ever have to even leave the Park!!! (maybe he can put a bed in a closet somewhere, that could be part of his contract)…


I think the expectations were way too high for Buchholz going into the 2008 season. I was one of them that fell into that trap. He is still very wet behind the ears. Perhaps a season like he had will open his eyes. When things don’t go your way…that is when you find out what kind of person you are. Look at Beckett in 2006, he got lit up! In 2007, Beckett was the best pitcher in the game and was lights out in October. I’m not saying Buchholz will be the best pitcher in the game next year but he can certainly be a major contributor for the Red Sox in 2009 and beyond! His stuff is quality! He just needs to mature a bit.


New faces and new names are a great thing! I enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts. We all have a great passion for Red Sox baseball.

The bandwagon hit a bump here in St. Pete. Very little talk about the Rays. No surprise!! lol.

Is there a closet big enough for Ponson? LOL!!


I am trying to talk to some executive’s about Garry but so far no luck. Boras is hogging the phone line to these executives! LOL!! I’m trying to get a deal done before Obama’s taxes take over. LOL!!

haha!! double walk in no mirrors though!!!
I love the different points of view and some of them are VERY different..


No mirrors indeed. lol. Certainly different, yes indeed!

I heard Bora-ss today on ESPN radio (Colin Cowherds program… I love that show)… Now there is ONE POMPOUS
a-s—s.. I dont think I’ve ever seen him and Zazu in the same room, and now I know why…. There isnt a room big enough for those two over inflated egotistical bhutt-heads to be in at the same time…. LOL


I love listening to Colin Cowherd. I think he is very funny.

Boras is full of himself. I was hoping someone would throw a pitch right at the screen, where Boras has his seats in Anaheim. Whatever pitcher did that, I would love him forever and ever! LOL!!

Tek will be back. Boras is trying to inflate his salary somewhat with his comments. How many other teams will think that he deserves a huge contract at a spectacular price? Sure, a lot of teams would like to have him, but it also seems that Boras is going too far with some of his clients and doing them a disservice. He’s(Boras) become a caricature of himself. Look for Tek to return.

Also, I’ll take Bay over Holliday. Holliday is a better hitter, he scorches the ball, but Bay is better all around, and the way he fits in and deals with the Fenway pressure is fabulous. Remember his first at-bat? Standing “O” and Bay had to step out of the batter’s box to compose himself and he delivered! Some players would wilt in that pressure. Don’t fix what ain’t broke. I’ll take .280/30/110, with a little speed and good defense any year. Add to that a great attitude.

Also, I liked the balance on the Sox at the end of last year. Some speed, some power, a lot of versatility. That, to me, is a better balance than a line up of all power hitters. Gives Tito more options.

Just remember what happened last winter with Arod… He FIRED Bora-s-s-…. When he screwed everything up with negotiations… remember Arod talked to the Yankee brass on his own….. I dont think that Ramirez has the (pardon the spelling here) Cahones to pull that off….

I’ll take a “solid-every day-give it my all,everyday” type of player like JBay over that ex left fielder anyday!!!

There was also a “chemistry” you know a team attitude that gelled at the end of the season that DEFINITELY wasn’t there 2months before!!!!

I think that Theo and Tito ought to post some of their player considerations on the blog, before they make any final decisions, so that we could offer them some of our “expert” advice. I am sure that they realize that we may all have different suggestions, but that’s what they get paid for i.e., to sort out the best of the advice that we give and proceed accordingly. Also they factor in that we all work cheap to keep their budget down.

Ellenc, bosoxbrian, robertkramer, we have the ability right now, to sign any one of these guys, Burnett, Peavy, Reyes, Dempster, to add that depth we need in our rotation, No one in MLB can boast to have the likes of a Beckett, Lester, Dicek in their rotation at this time! Can you imagine if just one of these guys, just one, was added to our team in ’09? Their would be GM’s scratching their heads, saying how did this happen? When we use the farm with the FA’s, FA’s selected correctly, now, and almost surgically, this is the equation for another penant season!!!! Bucholz is still an unproven commodity when compared to this FA list of pitchers. I would have thrown Sabathia in there, but I know he is not available, I would throw John Danks from Chicago in there, but I know he is not an FA this year, and not available period. One arm, that’s it, surgically decided upon by Theo and company. This should be our goal for ’09 besides the additional bats and possible catcher we may need. The farm is good, and that is the wave of the future, no doubt, but these proven talents, although not worth the cash their asking for, can have a major impact on our team for the next 3-4 years, and all the new farm prospects that we have. We need just one of these guys. If you had your choice folks, who would you select from this list and why? Talk to me as if you were speaking to Theo, here.
Diehardbostonfansince1969—Yankees and Rays beware!!!!!

Hey BosoxBrian:

I was surprised also that Youk didn’t win another GG at 1st this year, especially since he broke Garvey’s errorless record this year. Then I looked at his fielding and Pena’s, and as you say, Youk had 4 errors, while Pena only had 2 on more chances, meaning a higher Fielding Ave. Much as it galls me, I can’t argue with the GG reasoning giving the award to Pena.

With all the “get another pitcher” talk on this blog, I certainly hope the Sox, if they are going to pursue adding a pitcher, pick one up who is a free agent, so that they only have to part with money, not talent. I would hate for them to make the mistake of giving up the wrong prospect, the one who out-performs whoever the Sox get in return. I thought that had happened when Anibal Sanchez threw his no-hitter for the Fish. Boy, he sure has vanished in a hurry hasn’t he.

I’m just not sure who the expendable prospect is: Buchholz, Bowden, Hunter Jones, Daniel Bard, or one of Jeff’s other favorites. I know it was 20 years ago, but the Sox did give up a young Curt Schilling (and Brady Anderson) to get an old Mike Boddicker. How’d that deal work out? Schilling went on to win over 160 games before heading back to the Sox, while Boddicker won 39 games for the Sox over 3 years before the Sox granted him his release. I’d like the Sox to avoid making any more deals like that in the future!!

All catchers command and direct a pitching staff.
Along time ago the Orioles, had 4 20 game winners, McNally, Dobson, Cuellar, Palmer. Catchers were Elrod Hendricks, and Johnny Oates. Was it the catchers calling the game, or was it the execution of the pitchers that got them their 20 wins?
Ok lets say for the sake of aurgument Varitek is the best, he caught against the Rays at least over 20 games this year, lost the season series, got HAMMERED in Fenway in playoffs, sorry he caught 1 game. But the thing that gets me, is game 2. Beckett had the lead 4 TIMES, and if what your saying is true, Varitek just let Beckett keep going out knowing he does not have his best stuff. Catchers know by the 2nd. inning especially one who has caught the same pitcher for 2 years knows if he is on or not. 99.9 catchers would have told the manager to get the bullpen ready he is off tonight or he is struggling. If Francona TRUSTS, Varitek so much, how come Beckett kept going out there to blow leads.Seems to me he called a bad game, not because we lost, but by not taking charge and telling Tito, get the bullpen ready, early in the game. Tito, if what your saying is true he would have listenend.
I am sorry we lost the series, and also sorry Varitek is older now, he was a good catcher, by no imagination was he great, but time to move on in that position.
Last thought by no means am I saying I hate Varitek, too loyal for that, but time to turn the page.

You hit the nailon the head, I go to MANY DOUBLE AA, games, since 1972. Had the pleasure of seeing all these fine kids play and I am really excited for the NATION. Want to add another too, Kris Johnson. I think Bowden and Bard will be up this year. Daniel Bard is something special, I know all major league teams will want this guy. Theo you gave him a 1.5 million dollar signing bonus dont lose him now, or any of them. Bucholz maybe called up too quick, buy no one pitches 88 innings strikes out 128 men in Double AA, then gets called up to the majors, and in second start pitches a no-hitter. I hope no one gives up on him, and trades him, BIG MISTAKE.

Quick trivia question who did the Red Sox draft in the 9th round in the 1998 draft, but did not sign. Duquette only wanted to give him a 10,000 signing bonus. I wish Theo was the general manager then. THIS ONE HURT.
Work 3rd. shift nighty, night,

Yeah, good point! Can someone explain to me how could the Sox top three pitchers be walloped by the Rays in Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, and Game 5 (saved by the heoric comeback)? Was it becuase of bad pitch execution or bad pitch calling? Also remember the passed balls and failure to throw out runners.
How could Carlos Ruiz (Carlos who?) and his pitchers shut down the Rays. With all due respect, Carlos Ruiz is not even in the same league as Tek. Yet Carlos got the job done.
When your manager was not managing and your catcher was not making the right call, did you expect to win the championship series? I know, I know, with all the injuries and distraction the Sox still came within one game of reaching the WS. How come the Phillies with team batting average of .236 (or something) be the WS champion?

Ellen/Brian: I’ve been working out in the off season. My arm feels great and by spring training, I’ll be ready to go. In all seriousness, this makes me think of the off season back in the days when I was really playing. My off season conditioning program consisted of playing touch football and basketball. In the winter, I looked forward to snow days because I would go out and make 200-300 snow balls and let them sit over night so they would harden. I got my off season work in by throwing snowballs at a telephone pole. If it warmed up into the 30’s or 40’s, I’d be out throwing a rubber coated baseball against the brick wall of the elementary school in my neighborhood…… and that was it. Maybe a few weeks before spring training I’d do some sprints and about eight million pickups to get in shape. If I had to do three pickups now, I’d fall over dead.

007… you’re not going to be happy until they fire Francona or he quits, are you??….. Be careful what you wish for… It could come back to bite you on the a–s-s.

I don’t want Francona to be fired. I still think Francona is the greatest manager the Sox ever had. Despite the mounting injuries and the distractions and the player’s ego, Francona worked under tremendous preesure and yet managed the Sox to the postseason. He is a great off the field manager.
Aside from the dumb roster move, Francona could have made a few fundamental in-game moves that could conceivably take the Sox to the WS. He didn’t.

Ellen & Brian,
Ponson “only” tipped the scales at 260 lbs., Chris Britton was 280 lbs. and I think Sabathia beats them both. Maybe the Yankees offer will be subsidized by the food vendors in the Stadium area!

I think 007 is a Francona basher. I think I am stating the obvious. If the Red Sox win a close game, he gives Francona ZERO CREDIT. If the Red Sox lose a close game, he nails him every single time. I think that is unfair but that is how the misery lives. I think Francona is the perfect guy for the Red Sox. Does he make head scratching moves at times, absolutely he does. Name me a manager that doesn’t? I think the Francona bashing gets old…real old!


If the Yankees had all three of those heavy set individuals, they better be careful when try to take off from the airport. LOL!! Sox had that problem with Colon and Schilling on the same plane. LOL!!

Good advise!!!

I’m back…..my Francona antenna went up and behold….someone is smacking him and it’s November!!!!!! I would be a big Francona apologist except….he doesn’t need one. He is perfect for this team’s temperment and has LED the Sox to the post season how many times???????Find someone else to whine about. And going way back to lunas’ comment about Tek…I agree. His swing is too long and he can’t get away with it anymore. Shorten that stroke and hit some line drives. He has time to work on it. I am not about to give up on him yet. There are a ton of catchers out there that can’t carry his gym bag and I hope the Sox don’t pick any of them up. Trust me….we will all be screaming for Tek in May if he is somewhere else. It might not even take that long. Go Sox!!!!

Craig. I think I can hear that barely audible…. IDOBELIEVE!!!

and about Tito.. Has he yet to really pull a GRADYLITTLE?? I think not!! There a re alot of people who bash the Krap out of him when something goes wrong, but I dont see those same people applauding him when he really pulls one out of his… HAT!! and a question to the Terry Francona bashers..
Any manager out there… already managing a team or not.. employed or unemployed.. Who could do a better job than Francona??? I cant wait to see these replies…….

FAN SINCE 65!!!! ;lol

I have belief that Jed Lowrie will continue to develop, but i am a huge Red Sox fan and have been a huge Khalil Greene fan since he was brought up in 2001, and if they could add him in a possible trade, i would be so pumped for next year. The Sox also need to re-sign minor league knuckleballer Charlie Zink not only because i am obsessed w/ him but also because at the age of 29, he like Wakefield can still have him prime years to come.


My opinion, for what it is worth, is that Francona does so many more things right than he does wrong. He has built a team in the truest sense of the word – and a formidable team at that – and has done a great job all round in making the superstars and the rookies look after each others backs. The right manager at the right time. It won’t last for ever and there will have to be a parting of the ways but let’s enjoy Tito taking our boys to the WS in ’09 and probably ’10 as well!

007 probably has a point about some of the decisions in the post season. Easy with hindsight. Not so easy trying to think clearly through the pain Tito had been living with for over six months. I guess that’s just the way the game, and lady luck, goes.


In 1998 the Red Sox drafted in the 9th round a high school 1st. baseman, from Maryland named MARK TEXIERA. Did not sign with the Sox because signing bonus was not to his liking.

This is my last 2 points on why I would not sign Varitek, again this is not bashing the man, he did a lot for the SOX.
He will be entering next season at age 37, just say you sign him for 2 yrs, with option of one. At this stage of his physical being because of his age and the position he plays, odds are against him that he does not go through a whole season, now you are really stuck if your Theo, you must maybe make a trade and now the team your trading to knows this, instead of giving borderline propects, they will want at least one of your best and probably two. Now you are stuck in the EXACT situation right now, except now you do not have to rush a trade and maybe make mistakes in giving away good prospects. Teams know we have some GREAT young pitching, they want it, Theo could sit back let the teams go to him in the offseason, and he has the upper hand. Personally there is not ONE of the Texas catchers who are worth any of our young guns. NONE!!!
Last point because of his poor offense this past season, Tito had to carry 3 catchers in the playoffs, thus probably closing a roster spot in the bullpen, Tito was almost forced to put in Timlin in game 2. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve we will never know. But at this point in Tek’s career I see more negatives than positives. Age, offense, contract. I just say it is time to move on.

No more Tek comments,
3 moves I would do hopefully,
1) Trade Coco Crisp for Nick Swisher
Guaranteed if we dont do this Yankees will, make a trade for him, frees alot of money for needed pitching.
2) Trade Lugo for Dontrell Willis on bad contract swaps.
Not a bad gamble. About same in money and actually each team is gambling.
3) If we are going to trade for a catcher, and if we are going to give 2 good propects up in pitching, then I want the BEST prospect in catching, trade to the Orioles for Matt Weiters. Will be the next BEST catcher in baseball, next 10 yrs. ALL STAR in 2 years. (Seen him in Double AA, he is expectional). OH only 22yrs old. switch hitter , beautiul swing.

Hey BosoxBrian:

Who are these newer bloggers? I read one complaining about the Sox going after big priced free agents…how they never pan out…Does anyone remember the Sox paying Zazu $160 Mil. 8 years ago to pry him loose from Clevelburg…a team he had just helped lead to the WS twice over a short span, along with countless other play-off success…You can imagine how poorly received that “theft” was in Clevelburg…And what did Manny do while a member of the Sox?…only help lead the Sox to 2 WS wins, and 4 appearances (counting 2008) in the ALCS…batting right after another player named Big Papi…who..if memory serves me correctly, was also a free agent when acquired…along with JD Drew, who opted out of big money in Dodgertown for even bigger money in Beantown…And what did the Sox pay to a free agent named Johnny Damon, who only sparked the Sox 7th game ALCS victory in 2004 with..was it….2 home rums???…And that guy, that 3rd baseman who won the 2003 AL batting crown as the 9th hitter in the Sox order…who got the hit up the middle in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS (off of Mariano Rivera)..to plate Dave Roberts with the game-tying run…wasn’t that guy..Bill Mueller… a free agent???…What you have to hope is that the FO makes good free agent choices…both with those that they sign, and with those that they allow to go elsewhere. Remember how hot the Sox were to have Carl Pavano in free agency after he won 19 for the Fish (having traded him away earlier to get Pedro Martinez). Fortunately the Yanks outbid the Sox on that one. Our newer faces ought to be doing their homework before speaking of that about which they really do not know.

The Sox farm system is outstanding…producing lots of good talent. Some of that talent will eventually make it to the Sox, but some of it they will use to acquire other talent…Like letting Hanley Ramirez go to the Fish…knowing full-well how good a player he was likely to be…because it netted the Sox Josh Beckett and Mikey Lowell…The Sox won’t stop grooming 1st and 2nd basemen simply because they have Youk and DP. You can’t…you never know what might happen. However, if those 2 continue to play well and happily for the Sox, then the Sox have valuable trade material. I really liked Brandon Moss’ swing, and feel he has upside major league potential…However, I continue to applaud Theo’s decision to send him to the Pirates in order to secure Jason Bay.

While we’re talking about Tek…and I wish the noted authorities talking about him could at least spell his last name correctly V-A-R-I-T-E-K…not V-E-R…Let’s not forget he was an acquisition from the Mariners (along with Derek Lowe) for a guy viewed as one of the best closers of his era, Heathcliff Slocumb…Boy, did the Sox make out lke robber barons on that deal…or what? For all of the bad trades we complain about, let’s not forget the good ones. Criticize away about Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He’s a 24 year old viewed as a prize possession of the Braves system. So prized, the Rangers traded away Mark Teixeira (who the Sox are likely to offer upwards of $20 Mil per year) to get him. I firmly believe he has not demonstrated his full potential at this point (as Teck had not when the Sox acquired him). It doesn’t change my willingness to pursue him. It wouldn’t surprise me that the Rangers are discouraging the Sox interest from him and toward Laird and Teegarden because they too like his upside potential. Good catchers do not grow on trees…if you think you have ound one, you have to act on it.

Also, for those idiots who can’t identify the best major league manager, all you have to do is look at the Sox’s roster and find my birthday buddy…that’s right…Terry (nee Tito) Francona. There has been a lot of ego on the Sox team over the past five years, and Francona has made it jell. Some of those head-scratching moves are the reasons why he does so effectively. The players know he has their back, and they give him their all. There is no doubt in my mind that as paltry as Big Papi’s numbers were last year, he gave the team the best year he had in him. I’d say the same for Drew…Lowell…CoCo…Ells. The Sox don’t have player attitude problems…they are eliminated, regardless of the performance effect that may result to the team (I have Zazu…Bartolo Colon…Jay Payton…and Nomar in mind, just to identify a few). These former players had upside performance potential, but were not positive influences on the club. Tito is not afraid to be judged by the performances of players who may not be as outstanding, but who will give their all. Thus far, the results have been superlative. I expect it to keep up!!

Speaking of the Bucks (like my smooth transition [lol]), with TCU’s loss to Utah, and Okie State’s impending loss to Texas Tech, watch for the 2-loss Bucks to climb back into the Top 10. By the end of the year (unless they become the 3-loss Bucks by being upended by the hapless Wolverines) they should be in the Top 8, and will likely wind up in a BCS Bowl. Would love to see them wind up against a Utah or Boise State and finally produce a blow-out. Oh well, I can dream!.

Down here in Fla. for the weekend. Visiting with my Mom and have an invite to play at Seminole tomorrow with a good friend. Life is good!!! Hope with you as well.

I am as much in favor of trading (getting rid of) Lugo as anyonelse. I am not however in favor of bringing Dontrelle Willis in.. I think he has had his 15 minutes of fame, and not something that the Sox should invest in, in any way. He spent the mjority of last year at Lakeland (A) Tigers minor league affiliate. He was sure terriffic for the Marlins 3-4 years ago, but then fizzled.
…. and I still say KEEP TEK!!!

If Weiters could be had, some team would pay a huge price!!! I feel Varitek will return if the Sox offer is at all reasonable, and it will be. The only question mark is the state of Tek’s finances after a divorce.

RBSUL: Let me guess, I bet that you were in favor of getting Santana last year too, huh??

If I am not mistaken, David Ortiz had been given his outright release from the Twins. I could be wrong…

Baseball America’s Minor League Free Agents:
Boston Red Sox (16)
RHP: Miguel Asencio (AA), Lee Gronkiewicz (AAA), Eric Hull (AAA), Edgar Martinez (AAA), Marcus McBeth (AAA), Craig Molldrem (Hi A)
LHP: Dave Gassner (AA), Daniel Haigwood (AA), Jon Switzer (AAA), Michael Tejera (AAA)
C: Sandy Madera (AAA)
2B: Tony Granadillo (AA), Zach Penprase (Lo A)
3B: Manuel Arambarris (Lo A), Keith Ginter (AAA)
OF: Jason Lane (AAA)

dbenj… I certainly agree with you on very many of your points. It certainly does get intersting here even in the off season!!!
Oh, are you wearing your very colorful golf shoes today??? Arent you the one that has the collegiate themed spikes???

Jeff has pointed out over and over that to build a championship team you concentrate on the farm so you have young, talented and hungry players ready to step in at any time. Then you fill needs with occasional trades and free agent signings. This is what Theo has done. And it seems to be working.

Tek still has great value and I expect him to be back. And if anyone here thinks that he was the cause of the rays victory in the ALCS, think again. The rays came into the ALCS smoking hot. They were seeing the ball well, pitching well and just at the apex of their game. Even so, the Sox nearly knocked them off. The Sox were injured and not fully up to speed. Also consider that the rays were very familiar with the Sox’ pitching and had seem our pitchers many times. That certainly helped them. You can say the same about the Sox, but again, the Sox were not fully healthy and didn’t have all their hitters on fire at the same time. I’m not taking away from the rays or making excuses, but those are the facts. And don’t blame Tito. Give him credit for having the weakened Sox there in the first place.

I think the way that Francona had Ellsbury and CoCo platooning this year worked out pretty well. I wonder if they will have them follow the same pattern this year.
Coco stepped up and produced many times when we needed it…. And if Obey-wan can adjust his swing ending up on base, he could steal the bases that we need….

Well good news at least only the Yankees are going to be paying a luxury tax this year. Since they raised it last year to 158 million.
Their payroll was about 203 million which is roughly around another 20 million they will be shelling out.
In the last five years they have paid 121.6 million dollars out (not counting this year), in luxury tax.
Now from what I have been reading about the economic conditions, they want to drop it down again to 140 million, maybe lower.
I guess when you can charge $2,000 a ticket for a seat behind home plate….A GAME (that is what Yankees are charging in new stadium), it will not bother them too much.

No the only Santana i wanted last year was the Album Abraxas.

Good info, I go to many Double AA games, and I would hate to see losing Daniel Haigwood. Eric Hull and Jon Switzer are keepers too.
I am not trying to get anybody mad at me on this site just stating what I think, not to get on anyones nerves.
Now maybe I was misinterpeted but I do NOT want to get rid of any or our young prospects,, I have been saying that from day one. Let alone Santana.
Weiters has been a beast in every organization he has gone to, (had the pleasure to watch him play, if fact went to all 3 games just to see him), he will be a thorn in our side for a long time. Orioles are not that stupid to get rid of this guy, especially to division rivals. Even for our best 2 prospects. What a future this kid has.

I had that Santana album… appx 4 days after it came out… 1969/1970??


I don’t have the shoes…I had advocated them for BosoxBrian last year…but very good memory. You are right about Big Papi. I was just trying to make a point.

Hope things are fine with you. By the way, is there a pitcher and catcher you’d like to see the Sox add this offseason?

As far as acquiring a p/c, I think that Benji Molina would be a good addition, and I think that Derek Lowe would be the pitcher I would like to see (re)join the RedSox… Even though he always looked like someone pee’d in his corn flakes!! lol

Oh and maybe we could get Nolan Ryan!!! lol

Good album!!
Boy am I glad they got rid of Duquette, terrible drafting throughout his tenure.
1998 Draft not only did we draft Teixeira, in the 9th round and not sign him, but in the firt round of that year we drafted with the 15th pick pitcher Rick Asadorian (WHO),
Houston drafted with the 17th pick Brad Lidge, and with 20th pick Cleveland drafted C.C. Sabathia.

Sorry eyes go as you get older. That was the 1999 Asadorian got picked 17th, Brian Roberts, picked 50th Supplemental.
1998 Draft we selected 12th pick Adam Everett, Lidge went 17th, CC Sabathia went 20th.
Thats 2 demerits for me for having bad eyes.
Still glad Duquette gone. Both picks got very high signing bonues. 1.75 million

Every team has their share of screw ups as far as draft picks go.. But Boston seems to up near the top, lol.

If you like the kids as much as I do, don’t forget to check out a Milb.TV season pass next year. There were over 800 games televised (on your computer) last year including about 75 Pawtucket Red Sox for only $29.95. I’ll post info about it again sometime in March!

Kramer, that is a really good article.. Thanks for it.. Conjures up a couple of scenarios regarding the changing of the guard!!

You and all are welcome … as always! I just can’t get Tek’s divorce out of my head as a factor. I wonder if he has a better shot getting a four year deal somewhere now than a second two year deal when he’s 38.

I really dont think so… I think the best thing would be for him to fire Boras as AROD did, negotiate with the Sox on his own (they are not going to screw him, he’s too smart for that) and to just get the best deal,time/money and go from there. The Sox could go for Saltalamacchia and have them platoon. And if I were looking at it from an ex’s point of view (barring taking care of his lil girls) I’d probably take a little less to give a little less!!! But that would be mean spirited!! oops.. did I say that out loud?? lol

Shea Hillenbrand back in Boston? Dont be surprised. Not a bad idea.

Robert G,

Jeff Corsaletti seen here in New Britain, (now the Twins AA), but get to see many other teams here.
Anyway Corsaletti I think is a sleeper, for Boston.
Watched Garza and Bucholtz, pitch in a classic 1-0, cannot believe he was available by the Twins. (Garza)
That is why I am dead set against in getting rid of Clay, he has electricfying stuff.
Bucholtz won pitched 8 innings struck out 14, 1 BB. 2 hits.
Garza 8 innings 1 run 4 hits, struck out 12, 1BB.
Have score book, and Bucholtz signed it for me. Next day.
Winning run scored on only Garza walk.

Ellenc, bosoxbrian, dbenjamin, kramer, after 192 comments later I return to this blog, to find not much being said differently than when it started. Our farm team is impressive, double A and triple A, great prospects for our future. But, bazooka arms kill bats, we need to kill the bats this year with bazooka arms!!!! Consistently with every inning pitched. We stand at a crossroads now with the great leadership Theo and the front office have shown us in the last several years. That is the guarantee to WS 2009, 2010, 2011 and beyond, with who we already have in the rotation!! A good mix of FA’s that are surgically selected (Read Theo’s outlook on selective prospects), and some young arms promoted from the farm league. I will say these names of FA’s once again, Peavy, Sabatthia, AJ Burnett, Dennys Reyes from Minnesota, Dempster, Sheets, Garland, Pettite, Moyer. I also like Tazawa, he needs to be signed like as of yesterday!!!!! Who would you select for the rotation and why????? Intelligent banter welcome. Diehardbostonfansince1969, and proud of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a Red Sox Fan, God Help Me….I am not a complaining, back-stabbing baby that pecks at all the “what could have been” plays, poor stats, or missed opportunities. You have to have a strong stomach and a big heart to be a real Red Sox Fan, if you don’t….go over to the Dark Side(Yankees).

#1: Sign Jason Varitek to a 3 year deal, don’t worrk about money…it will all work out in the end when we win another World Championship & can sell lots of promotional stuff.

#2: Dump Cash & Ross, cause we have Tek !!! Relax.

Take a nap until Spring Training 2009.

Congrats to Dustin Pedroia on his very deserving selection as the AL MVP. It’s too bad there wasn’t enough to to around for Youk. Also, happy birthday to Papi who is 33 today, and to Mickey Mouse who is 80.

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